{she's as bright as the dallas sky}

My little sister is a senior. Congratulations, Allie, and Axe ‘Em Jacks!


{she’s as bright as the dallas sky}


The Ultimate Tent-Camping Packing List


ImagePhoto from www.colourbox.com

If you are anything like me, when you pack you do it categorically, crossing things off the list as you go. This is how I have compiled the single-greatest list for tent-camping. If you are backpacking, I suggest condensing this list even further. This list is meant for people like me: semi-experienced-tent-campers-who-want-to-rough-it-but-not-really.

We manage to fit all of these items into one large tote (Walmart, $6.)


1 Skillet
1 Small sauce pan
1 Spatula
1 Pair of Tongs
1 can of Pam Cooking Spray
2 Plates (plastic)
2 Rolls of Napkins
10 Garbage sacks (aka Walmart Sacks)
1 Tablecloth
2 bags of charcoal
1 Salt and 1 Pepper shaker
2 lighters
1 Coleman stove
1 box of matches
1 roll of tinfoil
1 box of sandwhich baggies
1 roll of plastic wrap
1 oven mitt
2 mugs
1 case of folgers coffee
1 old coffee pot
1 bag of coffee filters
1 Tony Sachere’s Cajun Seasoning
1 Natures Seasoning
1 Vegetable Oil (for frying)
1 dawn dish soap
1 set of rags

We leave everything we can in the tub for pick-up-and-go convenience.


1 Coleman Stove
1 Small (beach-size) grill
1 Clothesline
2 tanks of propane (small, for stove)
1 case of liquid fire starter
1 Tarp
1 small tub for washing dishes
1 small tub to put water in in the morning to heat for ‘baths’
Stack those two together, no lids necessary
Sleeping bags
pads (for under sleeping bag)
Ice chest
Roasting spikes

Basic food items:

Water bottles or jugs
Granola bars (cliff bars or Bare Naked bars)
Candies (for cases of low blood sugar or quick-energy needs)
Water purifying tablets
Tortillas (they go with everything)
Peanut Butter or Almond Butter

Basic Clothing:

Rain slicker
Light Jacket
Heavier jacket
Sun shades
Reflective Gear (in case of emergency)

Personal Care (including first aid kit):

Athletic tape
Pre Wrap
Anti Histamine
Itch Cream
Aloe Vera
Eye drops
Ankle brace
Wrist brace
Migraine medicine
Lip balm
Baby wipes
Wisps (for teeth)
Pepto Bismol tablets
Epi Pen
Bug repellent

backpack for hiking
battery-operated fan





Friday Night Lights


A show that probably didn’t mean anything to anyone who wasn’t from Texas. Growing up down here changes the way you think about Friday night in the fall. Will the boys win? Will they lose? I know this is a travel blog, but travel is about experiencing other cultures, right? Texas football is a culture within a culture. Whether it is the high school game on Friday night that the whole town shows up to or the college game on Saturday that you budget money out of your paycheck to pay for as often as possible. Game day is holy. Game day means friends and family whether you are tailgating or having a watch party at home.

Friday Night Lights described how we felt during those months that the boys put on shoulder pads and helmets. We watched the weather go from steamy to frigid, and sometimes back to steamy, depending on how Mother Nature was feeling. We sit in the stands and grit our teeth, call plays, tell the defense something that the coaches have hopefully already told them. At halftime we listen to the band, we watch the dancers perform a kick routine, and then cheer the boys to victory or feel our hearts break for them as they lose.

Because that’s what happens when we lose. Our hearts break. We invest so much into the game, we believe so much in our boys, that we feel like we’re down on the field with them when the time runs out. No matter if they are our own or not.

Football in Texas is going back to your hometown on a Friday night and reliving it all. It’s gameday in Aggieland and wearing your finest maroon and boots. It’s tailgating in the backyard of the place mom and dad, and eventually you and your sisters went to college. It’s the fellowship with other fans, because it’s a holy day. Football in Texas is religion, and we believe.


Travel is a spiritual thing. {why?}


photo from technobuffalo.com

Why do we travel? Is it to experience other cultures? Is it to see things we have never seen before? On the surface, these are probably the main two reasons that people venture outside of their comfort zone and see new things. While snowboarding in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico the other day, a thought hit me that filled me to the brim with wanderlust: travel is a spiritual thing. It is a celebration of God’s creation and our roles within it. It is the most obvious joy in the quiet morning hours and the most raw realization in a desperate situation. We are marionettes on the strings of experience, waiting to be tugged hither and onward. We wake in the dead of night and see stars we have never seen before. We hear the sounds of a river that never ceases to flow past our tent door, on to the ocean. We feel the wind rush across our face that has blown past every mountain, every cliff, through every canyon and across every desert at one point in time. Our need and love for experience and enlightenment is eternal; we never get our fill. It is as much a biological component of us as is our DNA. We seek, we find, we cherish, we love. We embrace all that we don’t understand and carry it with us to new places so that maybe we can finally comprehend it. We take the memories of the Serengeti to the challenge of the Alps. We take the serenity of Aruba to the richness of Sydney. We enjoy food and wine in Italy and we enjoy solitude and quietness in India. We realize that the world is so large that we are insignificant but also so small that we owe the respect of our presence at every amazing creation.

The world is your oyster, friends. Seek the goodness of it.

{If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:9-10}


Angel Fire Resort and Red River Ski Area


photo from destination360.com



Recently I posted about our 15 hour car ride to northern New Mexico. Well, this is where we went. Our annual ski trip to this area was fantastic, although pretty exhausting. What else do you expect from a ski vacation? So, here are the ins and outs of these two lovely ski-town destinations.

The Skiing, Boarding, and Snow. 

While they are not as big as resorts like Breckenridge or Park City, these ski areas offer a lot more trail space per person than do the large resorts. The most I’ve ever waited in line at a lift at either of these resorts (which I should tell you are about a 30 minute drive from each other, so you can ski at both on a single trip) is about 15 minutes, and that was at peak time. Angel Fire is bigger and caters more to beginning skiers and all-level boarders as they have 2 terrain parks and more wide-open runs. Red River was difficult on a board (my husband and I snowboard, the rest of our family skis) but still fun. Red River seems to be more appropriate for slightly more advanced skiers.

photo from redriverskiarea.com

photo from redriverskiarea.com

We have seen years with too much snow (we got snowed in) and we have seen years where we wondered if there was snow on the mountain. However, there has ALWAYS been good enough snow at both of these places to have a great time. Red River generally gets more natural snow but Angel Fire keeps up by making a lot of snow. I have heard that the snow gets ‘iffy’ at Spring Break but it has always been great for us during the Christmas season. Best bet? Call ahead or download a snow-report app such as All Snow to get up-to-date reports on the snow.

The Accomodations

Angel Fire: stay within the resort system and book ASAP. Angel Fire Resort has tons of options for you from everything like a typical hotel room, condo, or chalet, to a home on Monte Verde Lake. The resort is ski-in and ski-out and the condos and chalets are all within walking distance. There are homes close by also. We stayed at Monte Verde Lake this time and had to drive but we booked late. BOOK EARLY!!

Red River: You can’t go wrong in this town. It is so small and centered around the ski area that everything is within walking distance. We have stayed basically everywhere and we have never had a bad experience. However, booking early gives you the most choice and won’t leave you with an accommodation that doesn’t fit your needs.

photo from angelfireresort.com

photo from angelfireresort.com

photo from redriverskiarea.com

photo from redriverskiarea.com


The Nightlife

Without a doubt, Red River has the most night life. We are usually there over New Years and we always take in a concert at The Motherlode. There are several bars and no trip is complete without a steak at Texas Red’s. There are a lot of specialty shops that sell every kind of t-shirt you can want to beautiful, hand-crafted boots, furniture, and jewelry. Red River has a heavy German influence so be ready to sip a few beers and munch on some wings at the Lost Love Saloon (connected to Texas Red’s) while taking in a BCS Bowl Game (this town is heavily influenced by us Texans, obviously.) Don’t forget the Cinnamon Roasted Pecans from the Nutty Bavarian! {cause extreme addiction}

photo from redriverskiarea.com

photo from redriverskiarea.com


If You Aren’t of the Skiing or Snowboarding Persuasion

This was our first trip with folks who didn’t ski the whole time. We boarded for 3 days and then went cross country skiing at Enchanted Forest in Red River. There are several snowmobile rental places between Angel Fire and Red River and either of these resorts can help you make reservations.


These are all tips and observations made by someone who has traveled there frequently and consistently. I am not affiliated with either of these resorts in any way. These are my humble opinions only.

Happy shredding!